Probiotic skin care has become the latest big thing in beauty. You probably already know about the benefits of supplementing with probiotics for digestive health and improved immunity. But what are probiotic skin care products?
Our skin is teeming with microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of these are friendly and help keep our skin healthy and balanced, however, others are opportunistic.
These trillions of cells that live on our skin form what is known as the microbiome and are part of the skin’s defence system. They help keep our skin resilient and prevent pathogens taking over.
A change in this complex ecosystem can result in a disruption to our skin microbiome and the skin‘s pH, potentially leading to skin health issues such as sensitivity, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and even acne.
So how do probiotics help?
Probiotic skin care products may help reinforce the skin’s microbiome, maintain the correct acidity and better defend itself against microorganisms that are opportunistic and can cause skin problems.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts. Probiotics naturally present on our skin help maintain the correct pH so that unfriendly bacteria find the skin’s surface unhospitable, as well as having antimicrobial and immunological actions. Because of this, it’s thought that, when applied topically, they may also promote a healthy microbiome by soothing, repairing, moisturising, and protecting the skin.
This all sounds very exciting and skin care brands have jumped on the bandwagon. But there’s something really important you need to know. Most products claiming to be probiotic are not probiotic at all! And that’s because they don’t contain any live bacteria or yeasts. They’re more likely to contain prebiotics or post-biotics. These may still have some benefits for the skin but they work in different ways.
Probiotics need to be live and this isn’t possible or even desirable in most products we put on our skin. And this is why most biotics found in skin care products are either prebiotic or post-biotic. To explain the differences simply:
- prebiotics provide nourishment to probiotics on the skin
- probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts
- post-biotics help support the skin’s microbiome
So before splurging on those probiotic skin care products, look a little closer to see what biotics they really contain.
By supporting your skin’s microbiome, you’re enabling your skin to spend more time renewing itself and less time-fighting inflammation, which is pro-aging.
However, it’s not just about probiotic skin care products. Make sure you’re focusing on your overall health first. A nutritious diet, stress reduction, adequate sleep, sun protection, and proper skin care are all necessary for systemic and skin health.
You can learn more about probiotic skin care and find out which ingredients are prebiotic, probiotic, and post-biotic from the skin experts at Skin Clinica.